Friday the 13th didn’t live up to its reputation for guests aboard our first cruise of the day. On Friday’s Wake up with the Whales on Manu Iwa, guests enjoyed smooth waters and a couple of surprise visits from two different curious sub-adult Humpbacks. The first time we were idling with the hydrophone in the water listening to a symphony of songs when a whale popped up about 50 feet from us and swam right alongside the hull. The second time, we were idling again, waiting for some whales we had seen dive to resurface. This whale also popped up next to us to take a look at a bunch of very excited whale watchers who were taking a look at him too!
We were able to run our 10:00 Whale Watch from Kawaihae on Friday too before the wind picked up. Guests aboard Alala got to see two different calves…we found the first one in in the beginning of the cruise accompanied by a very large mom and escort. This little guy was really young — we could clearly see his bent over dorsal fin. At the end of the cruise we got to watch a very active calf breach over and over again. But we had plenty to watch in between these sightings…lots of tail lobs and breaches from various adults who were hanging out in the wind line.
We weren’t able to run cruises on Saturday due to the stormy conditions, but Sunday’s cruises provided some great sightings. Lots of Mom/Baby/Escort pods…lots of competitive pods…and lots of surface activity. When the weather cooperates, you just can’t beat February for whale watching off the Kohala Coast!
Captain Claire’s Humpback Fact of the Day: Biopsy samples taken from South Pacific Humpbacks show a ratio of 2.4 males for every female on the breeding grounds. A similar ratio has been observed in Hawaii. This suggests either: 1). female Humpbacks can afford to be choosy with their mating partner; or; 2). female Humpbacks are overwhelmed by aggressive males and bullied into mating.